Impossible Movement Illusions

Richard Wiseman, william Houstoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Past research has used the phi phenomenon to create the illusion of one object moving through another. This article presents three optical illusions that are conceptually similar, yet little known within academic psychology. Two of the illusions have been developed within the magic community and involve the performer appearing to make a finger jump from one hand to another and a cup penetrate through another cup. The article explores the factors underpinning these illusions and describes how these factors were used to enhance a similar illusion developed outside of magic (the penetration of one hand through another).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018


  • body perception
  • illusion
  • magic
  • motion
  • perception
  • perceptual organization


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